South Downs Way Long Distance Path Directory

Reaching Seven Sisters is a spectacular moment on the South Downs Way
Reaching Seven Sisters is a spectacular moment on the South Downs Way

The 106 miles of the South Downs Way runs from Eastbourne to Winchester. It follows an exhilarating bridleway route along the rolling chalk downs of Sussex and Hampshire. The route follows prehistoric droveways that have been in use for some 5,000 years, and numerous Bronze Age round barrows decorate the trail. Comparative newcomers are the Iron Age Hill forts between Devil's Dyke and Old Winchester Hill. The eastern portion of the path follows a ridge of open chalk downland dotted with clumps of trees through agricultural areas given to sheep grazing. Several species of wild orchids can be found on the Downs, which also abound in butterflies. The views across the Weald and the Channel are wonderful. Closer to the coast the high chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters dominate the scene, and the path crosses the lovely Meon Valley en route to its conclusion.

Google Maps Open Source Maps

The best web sites for General Information and Planning:
National Trails of Great Britain Comprehensive site providing details on the route. Includes an accommodation guide, booking service providers, maps required.
South Downs Way Walk A unique service is provided here. Each year a walk is organised. Walkers are picked up by coach each morning and are taken to the start of the day's walk. At the end of each day the coaches take everyone back to their joining point. As a 'supported' rather than a 'guided' walk everybody is free to walk at their own pace.
South Downs Discovery Using our extensive local knowledge, we take the hassle out of planning your visit so you can concentrate on enjoying your trip to the South Downs to the fullest.
The best web sites for Guided Walking:
None available at present
The web sites that organise accommodation and/ or baggage transfer:
South Downs Discovery specialise in offering self-guided walking holidays and a daily baggage transfer service.
Absolute Escapes are offering self-guided walking packages on this walk including accommodation and baggage transfer.
Celtic Trails Full self guided walkers service.
Walk and Cycle Full range of services for accommodation planning and Baggage transfer.
Footprints of Sussex Locally based walking holidays, accommodation and baggage transfer service who specialise on the South Downs Way.
The best web sites for you to plan your accommodation:
S H Systems Excellent range of accommodation. Just type in the location to bring up a list of accommodation in the area. You can sort by price, postcode or rating.
Footprints of Sussex Locally based walking holidays, accommodation and baggage transfer service who specialise on the South Downs Way.
The best personal journals of the walk:
Claire Adams Eighteen days on the South Downs Way in aid of Epidermyolsis Bullosa.
My South Downs Way walk Seven days of spectacular walking. For each stage there are maps, statistics and downloads included.
Christopher Weddell Christopher's blog report is a welcome addition to the collection.
The essential sites for safety advice and emergency services:
Ramblers Association Practical walking advice on keeping safe including a guide to map reading, navigation and a detailed list of the essential gear required on a long distance walk.
Mountain Rescue UK You may need them so take their advice.
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Feedback and Suggestions:

I am always pleased to received feedback on the structure and content of the website. I also welcome suggestions on how I can improve the website which may include new areas to cover, new walks or route alterations to existing walks. To contact me with feedback and/ or suggestions please complete the Walking Englishman Feedback Form. Thank you.

(Note: Walking without proper preparation can be dangerous. Information and downloads on this website are provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check the material and use accordingly. Postscript: My walk reports are not route guides and should not be treated as such. They are written with personal reflections of my walks)

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